Saturday, December 24, 2011


Why so many comments to the Lord Rama posts are anonymous. Just curious, is it about laziness of not leaving a name, even if it were fake, because you never know who is behind an ID these days, or is it only behind a curtain that people can speak their hearts and otherwise they dont have the guts to do so? Just asking. Not intended to hurt any of the commenters.

Ek Deewana Tha

Here is the theatrical trailer and I am, once again the voice of Jessie.

However I have not sung in this film.
And with this I have spoken for Jessie in Tamil, Telugu and Hindi (A little bit of Malayalam as well)

Monday, December 19, 2011

Response to the comments on 'Questions....'

The comments section was really expanding and hence I thought it would probably be better to post here. It was amazing to read the various comments and cements the notion that discussions of this nature cannot be trivialized on Twitter. Huge lesson learned this year.

To Mr Ramesh: I am not sure if I am that important a person that the youth in general would follow. However if that were true, I would prefer that youngsters make decisions based on rational thinking. As long as the questions are answered properly, and as long as the mind that questions is after knowing the truth or the relative truth as the case may be, is brought to a state of stillness then that would be the true democracy that Hinduism has also practiced through the ages. Sant Jnaneshwar, Ramanuja, Madhvacharya and Adi Shankara have all argued and debated about the scriptures at various intellectual congregations.
I would suggest that you read this book called 'Am I a Hindu'. And also suggest you read the ACK titles of the sants I have mentioned. You ll see people have always questioned. And the true seekers have always accepted new knowledge instead of being imprisoned by dogma. 

Mr Srijith/Pavi/ Mr Trivedi/Mr Telkar: Loved your comment. Thank you

Suchi: Will read that book. 

Anusuya: The operative word is 'cosmic' ocean as you have mentioned. If you can, do read this book called Am I a Hindu. It should answer a lot of the questions you have. I loved reading it. 

Saturday, December 17, 2011

My questions on Lord Rama

Now before anyone pounces on me with pre-concceived notions, (based on reactions I have seen on Twitter) as being blasphemous, anti-Rama, Anti-Hindu or any such thing, here is a disclaimer, at the beginning. This is a post, voicing out questions that I have had, in the quest of finding the answer. 

While I have the questions I am also aware that
- Our texts have been translated and interpreted in various ways by various people and Sanskrit (Valmiki Ramayana which is my point of reference here) being the complexly beautiful language that it is, a single statement could be interpreted in several ways, based on whatever little I have read in my short span of literacy and living.
- My questions may provoke arguments, incite anger, irritate or any other simile to that effect one may deem correct at the point of reading this post.
- The reader may be firing on all cylinders which may eventually lead to emotional outbursts on the comment section.
- I can be labeled Anti Hindu as said earlier
- People may say I hurt sentiments. To this I can only say that questions have almost always hurt someone or the other. But that has never deterred an inquisitive mind
- having been given the 'celebrity' tag, enough people tell me to measure my words a million times more. I always wondering a million times more than who? Because I am not meeting too many people organically or virtually who measure their words at all. If Twitter is anything to go by profanity, abuse and vulgarity is pretty rampant in the name of Freedom of Speech.

Anyway if I think up of anymore disclaimers I shall add that as a P.S.

Though the questions that you may see below are not something that have risen suddenly, I base these on the books that I have read. Amar Chitra Katha initally. Some other books and translations. By oral tradition as well which is one of the most important traditions of our culture. The Karna Parampara. Or rather I should say the Story of Ramayana. I confess I have not read the treatise in Sanskrit. If you have a suggestion on any work on the Ramayana I should readthat may state the reasons and the hidden meaning for various actions, given in English, please do let me know. I am happy to expand the horizons of my mind which I think, to the end of my days will always be limited in some way or the other. And my quest- among the other quests that I have - will be to bring down one limitation after another.

I happened to be dubbing for Sri RamaRajyam in Tamil for the character of Sita and as I dubbed I guess the questions I have always had kept bobbing up and I knew I had to blog about it. Sitting in Hyderabad after a pretty long session today and having some time on my hands, I figured I had deliberated enough before writing about it.

Sita seemed to have gone through only misery from the time she married into the Raghukula. More so Urmila, the wife of Lakshmana. But then I guess I will have to write about Urmila another day.

Coming back to Sita, after Rama, Lakshmana and her return to Ayodhya. After her Agni Pariksha which Rama thought was necessary to prove to the world that Sita was above blame and not for his sake, because he knew Sita was peerless. Rama becomes King. Sita is queen. Then comes the famous washerman who is said to have driven his own wife out of the house saying "I am not Rama to take back a wife who has lived in another's house".
Rama is informed of this and he decides, in the interest of the kingdom and his Dharma as a ruler first that he must banish Sita, who is with child, back to the forest.

Without delineating on the story further, since I assume, you the reader knows it, I have only these questions of Lord Rama. I dont mind it if He were to condescend and answer them to me in my dream or something (:p), so that I may understand. Or in any other way He may deem right which definitely does not involve suffering. (You know we must be careful what we ask of God or in the name of a wish, the problem sometimes that it will come true, as some famous quote says)

1. As a husband of Sita, who was peerless and blameless, the pativrata, he sent her to the forest again, without telling her what her crime was. She receives punishment, but he doesn't deem it necessary to tell her himself what has wrought this situation. Though there is an explanation that his heart would have broken if he had to break the news to Sita who was to become a mother, I can come to terms with this reasonably about him not informing Sita of the goings on.

2. Lakshmana is ordered to drop her in the forest. Just drop her and return. She is not invested in the care of any sage or an ashram. She is not entrusted in a safe haven. She is not even offered a decent dwelling to take care of herself or her unborn child/children. She is just left high and dry. She faints and then according to the legend, Sage Valmiki finds her and takes her to the hermitage where Luv and Kush are eventually born.

3. Rama, does not even attempt to find out if Sita is safe, whether his children are safe. Or if they are even born. But just deserts her because a washerman questioned her chastity, if that would be the right word to use here, since I cannot think of a safer word now.

4. Finally an exchange of arrows happens between Rama and Luv and Kush. Rama not knowing they are his sons. And Luv and Kush not knowing Rama is their father. Until Sita comes and stops the exchange of arrows. Rama is introduced to his sons but still refuses to take Sita back but is OK about taking his sons back. Question here is, if Sita were questioned, would the sons not be questioned too? Wouldnt some washerman ask about how Rama could declare one fine day that Luv and Kush are his sons? However I have no idea what happened after Sita decides she has had enough and returns to her mother Bhoomi Devi. 

5. Even if not a husband, as a ruler, if he had to suddenly remove Sita from the status of the queen, did he not fail in his duty as a ruler to provide for a safe haven for his subject?

I made a mistake of asking these questions on Twitter and I have realized that Twitter is no space for serious conversations with rank strangers. But then I ll write about this in another post. Deserves it. Or at least I feel like writing about it, deserving or not :)

Is there a reason other than
1. Sita chose to suffer
2. Rama is the all-knower
3. Sita sacrificed
4. Rama sacrificed 
5. You have to have faith and the answer will come to you.

and explanations to that effect? Is there a reason as to why Rama behaved in such an unjustified way?

I am questioning the human being that Sri Rama chose to be because he chose to suffer all that a human being would suffer in a lifetime. That's all. Vishnu is my favorite God. But then so is Shiva. I cant claim to know the creator Mr Brahma much. There isnt enough written about him except that he makes a special appearance in stories that concern Shiva and Vishnu or their progeny. But I like Shiva and Vishnu.

If you can give me an answer, or can point me to a book or a link that can give me the answer I would be happy. Please don't point to a godman though. That is one thing I am not interested in :)

Sincerely and humbly


Saturday, December 03, 2011

Another post with a title block

I am invariably asked to sing at all the dubbing sessions. Recently its been chotta chotta/saarakathu.At the dub session today, the director asked me to sing Deivam thandha.., and he said you will always be the Deivam Thandha poo. And he said it moves him to tears each time. That's the genius of that composition. A lot of people asked how did you sing with such emotion/pain? I guess mom had gone through enough in life and I had watched it silently, that sadness was usually my default emotion. Nothing ever exhilarated me. Except maybe the first calls from Rahman sir's office. 

I never understood why Rahman sir chose to give such an amazing composition of his to a 15 year old novice.When I recorded for Mr SJ Surya (If you wanna..) just before the session was to begin, he asked "What have you sung before?" and he gawked when I said Deivam thanda poove.. He asked YOU??!
He said he expected the singer to be at least in her 30-s. Not a teenager. People used to ask what did you think of during KMI. Nothing. I didn't think of anything. I didn't know about emoting for the mother in the film. I didn't know who I was singing for/situation for Kannathil Muthamittal.  So yes, I knew nothing. And I guess I am glad I didn't know anything. Rahman sir knew how to make magic happen without saying much.

I was only concerned about singing well. I had no clue if my voice would be retained. Actually, even today when I record, I never know if my voice will be retained. People might change their mind. Which is why I dont talk about the film I have recorded for until it releases. 
I am thankful and grateful to the grace God has shown to me/us (mom and I), the opportunities that composers gave me.However,if you think people will welcome you just because you are talented, please Know that it is otherwise. No one lays out the red carpet. People will make your life tough. Attempt to make your life a living hell. Succumbing or succeeding would be the only options. For me, how I succeed is imperative. At the end of my life, I know I'll be known for never bending in my values. That's how I can make mom proud. And myself. 

The past few years of professional life have given me unparalleled experiences. The rosy path was probably 5/100th.  (If that fraction is mathematically wrong, I am sorry, fractions were never my thing. For that matter.. maths wasnt my thing after 7th std. That was when my 100s started their downward journey :p )

In some film that I forget the title of, the elder lady of the house says "Response under pressure is the best judge of character" Today when people are trying to express themselves in 140 characters, I am wondering if I can judge them based on that or just watch the space. If someone could be judged that way, then a lot will fall into racial/sexual abuse category. 
Yesterday I was listening to Mr N Ram of the Hindu and he happened to mention that a Gentleman from somewhere met him at his office and he added "I will not reveal who because I do not have his permission to do so". While I listened to Mr Ram, the more I felt that I am meeting less and less people who have their basic etiquette, ethics, values and more than anything else, their manners in place. 
And today people are racing to be the first to say, I met him/her. S/he said this/that. Without even checking first. Many a time, I have admonished - and I use the word admonish, because that is exactly what I did - those who publish gossip. Or publish news about someone without verifying first. What is with this sudden wannabe I want to be a news-breaker disease that people are into? Is it the quest to feel important, if only for a few minutes?

Why are people not able to debate on issues without bringing up unnecessary and totally unrelated parameters today? My mom always told me that disagreement / fights are on issues and not with the person.

Recently someone told me that they didn't want to have children because the world is a terrible place to bring in a baby. And I understand where the thought is coming from. If you had to really look and observe the world seems to be disintegrating at a very rapid pace. Sooner or later, some like minded people might form groups and decide to be by themselves like in the 'Village'. Anything is possible.

However, though this post may have started somewhere and head somewhere else, it is just a random log of various thoughts that decided to present itself in my head.

A lot of times, in despair have I turned to my mother and asked why is it that God is using us for his entertainment? Everyone who seems to be on the opposite end of honesty and ethical seems to be doing so well.. and way better. But maybe, as I had blogged earlier on the same lines, I would not have been able to be any other way. But then I still ask God the same question. That he seems to be punish the just more than anyone else and that there has to be an end to this 'testing'. What else can one do anyway? And at times it is not even God. The question goes out to the Universe, to Whomsoever it may concern.
I guess I ll take a lifetime and the time after this lifetime to know for sure, why I was born this way. And was to have lived this way. 
And, with my mom's blessings, it would have been a lifetime that spoke of unbending principles.
I shall look forward to my epitaph.